AMR's on a mission on day two of GT4 America at VIR

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Kicking off the racing programme on day two out of three from the Virginia International Raceway, Flying Lizards gentleman driver Michael Dinan was again on a mission in the second Sprint race of the weekend having already secured the Am class win yesterday.

Despite starting further back along the grid than where they did in race 1 by virtue of race ones fastest lap times being used to determine the starting slots, Dinan quickly made a move on fellow Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 racer Paul Terry ahead on the grid in his #59 Rearden car to move up to P7 amongst the fourteen runners to chase after the two class leaders ahead.

The cooler track conditions of Saturday morning made for some more comfortable cockpit conditions for Dinan, Terry and Rearden team mate Jeff Burton after not the Rearden cars both struggled in the heat of yesterday, each quickly ruining their tyres in the process of sliding off the track on many occasions.

The second fifty minute Sprint race made for some excellent inter group and inter class racing as the Pro class cars raced off into the distance with all three Astons featuring amongst these battles with particularly Dinan seemingly not able to close the gap to the class leading Mercedes ahead. Well, that was until the class leading Mercedes suffered from a simple, unaided off and nose into the tyre wall that elevated all the cars behind up one position . That incident gave Dinan the motivation to chase for the class lead from the #119 BMW now in the lead.

Taking only two more laps to make the move, Dinan grabbed the class lead with an opportunist move at the same corner as the then leader went off at and from there the #210 Flying Lizard car never looked back despite a late full course yellow raising anxiety levels amongst those watching.

Whilst Dinan flourished again, at least the two Rearden cars had better second races (technically) than they did in the first after their self imposed mistakes left them languishing further down the order than they perhaps could have to ultimately finish P5 and P6 in class respectively in race 2.

Not to be outdone by their AMR stablemate at Flying Lizards saw the #15 BSport Racing AMR of Kenton Koch take the lead position on the grid for the four AMR runners in this evening second Sprint X race.

Starting from P3 overall courtesy of their faster lap in yesterdays first race, Koch played the opening lap very carefully, not getting involved in the lap 1/turn 1 incident that would also see the race effectively restarted after the pole sitting BMW was unceremoniously punted off track at their first attempt.

A wild moment for Vesko Kozarov in the #91 Rearden car however saw him lose sections of his cars under tray as he went wide and wild over the kerbs on the exit of Old Oak Tree Corner - that damage would affect their whole race. Pat Gallagher in the #33 RS One Aston would also have a great opening stint taking the battle to those who got in his way as he kept the colourful #33 car in the top 5 in the Pro-Am class.  Robbie Foley however would also have to fend off the amorous attention of Kozarov into Turn 1 next time around, sustaining slight damage in the process.

With track temperatures again soaring in the afternoon heat the performances of all the AMR's were noticeably slower to those around them with other marques of car easily able to stretch distances between them right from the onto the straight at the Old Oak Tree corner through to the end of the pits straight.

With the pit window opening at the 25 minute mark, Foley was the first Aston to pit from P11 - a move that would effectively see them move up the leader board as the other front runners left it for another lap to do so. After the stop Bryan Putt emerged still in P2 overall in his white AMR after a great stint from Koch and this time (unlike CoTA) he would have the pace to maintain that gap to the chequered flag.

With Dinan now aboard the #210 Flying Lizard car, he would find himself in front of Matt Dalton's #33 car despite them being cars apart when their respective Pro drivers brought their cars into pit row as he piled on the pressure onto two battling silver class cars ahead for track position. The team would later after the race confirm technical issues within the #33 car that kept setting the electronics into 'limp mode' which needed a "Control-Alt-Delete" reset from the driver.

After another great Sprint X race, Putt would take their first podium finish of the season with Dinan finishing P5 in class for the second time of the weekend. Jeff Burton would have a quiet race by his standards to finish just ahead of the #33 RS One car in P11 overall - P7 in class.

Another race - another podium for the AMR Vantage GT4 in the USA. With the SRO Series playing catch up after their long four month sabbatical, everyone will have another round of both Sprint and Sprint X tomorrow!!

Photo credits - GT4 America / CSJ Motorsport / Flying Lizards / BSPort / Rearden

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes